Education spanning art, culture and conservation is a strategic national resource


It is no secret that good education has the power to change lives Tshilidzi Ramuedzisi, Head of Innovation and Corporate Affairs, Total South Africa, reminds as she shares how, through the specialised education programmes and partnerships, the company  strives to equip and develop South African youth with relevant skills and knowledge.

“After all, she adds, “education gives us a knowledge of the world and changes it for the better. It helps us build opinions and have points of view. It comes in different forms, levels and intensities for the development of various spheres of life and skills for different needs. 

“As companies grow, the opportunity to share that success with society will arise more frequently. They therefore need to look at ways to invest in social projects and initiatives as their customers, the community, are indeed the lifeblood of the business.

“They have an opportunity and a duty to use their influence for the societal wellbeing of local communities. It is why  Total has taken on education as a key focus areas and partners with programmes and institutions to contribute to the communities in which it operates.”

Nature conservation

 Education in nature conservation is another important aspect for every South African. Total South Africa, she says,  is proud to have a long-term and meaningful partnership with SANParks which has led to several initiatives all in an effort to support nature conservation. 

One  programme made possible through this partnership is the Walk and Learn on the Wild Side (WALOW) initiative. It strives to inspire learners to become custodians of conservation and tourism. Through hands-on experience the fun and informative programme educates scholars from previously disadvantaged communities about nature conservation and exposes them to various SANParks conservation, tourism and hospitality careers and products. 

Learners are invited to visit Kruger National Park Tourism workstations for a workshop on career options in the sector. They also get the first-hand experience in exploring the wild through a fun walk in the park. 

Programmes such as WALOW create opportunities for learners and support the socio-economic and educational development of youth from communities beyond the Kruger National Park boundaries. 

Art and culture

 Total identifies art and culture as a strategic national resource for curbing socio-economic challenges. “Art,” Ramuedzisi adds, “allows people to tell stories that can raise awareness, educate and influence community culture.”

The company has partnered with Sibikwa Arts Centre, a multi–disciplinary arts and culture centre focusing on providing art programmes to the community, for more than 20 years.  It also 

contributes to the development of education through arts and culture through a partnership with Buskaid, a musical institution in Soweto aimed at introducing children in the township to musical studies. Known for its violin musical group, Buskaid has led several students to international opportunities and to the wider musical industries.

“Total South Africa is grateful to be part of these partnerships and initiatives. It is through long-term partnerships forged with stakeholders with a shared vision and a shared passion for their community, that we are able to move CSI out of the charitable sphere into one in which a meaningful change and impact can be realised,” says Ramuedzisi.

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